This week the East Coast Surfing Championships, “the second-longest, continuously-run surfing contest in the world”, hit Virginia Beach. What a party! The event actually started as a party in 1961. This is the stuff all those beach music and movies were born of, except it is live. Much like hearing a band perform vitalizes a recording, attending the ECSC makes one realize what is so exciting about the beach scene that it continues to inspire artists, poets, musicians.
What does this have to do with baseball? Probably nothing. Maybe everything. Is surfing a sport? Some say golf isn’t a sport. Some say baseball isn’t. Technically speaking, they are wrong in both instances, considering the etymology of the word sport. Sport is diversion.
And what is going on here is certainly diverting. There is more than just surfing: there is skateboarding, skimboarding, volleyball, an oceanfront 5K run in which my son and co-author here on SBY is participating, and, the ultimate sport, a swimsuit competition.
As Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys sang, “catch a wave and you’ll be sitting on top of the world”.
— Michael Norton
Watched my first ever soccer match yesterday-two of them actually. Maddog on his site Maddog’s World Cup Reports has been very patient educating me about the world’s favorite sport. He also supplies context–who the teams are and what the storyline is (think someone from Mars watching a Yankees/Red Sox matchup). You really ought to join the party.
It is good, very good, for baseball to embrace the world. The World Baseball Classic was ingenious, but, like blogging, there is nothing like showing appreciation for another to attract a symbiotic response.
Baseball, much more than the other major sports, has the potential to acquire a world wide audience. The game was established in many nations in the aftermath of World War II, and hence has some history and an established comprehensibility to those of other nations. As I noted in an earlier blog ( A Whole New Ballgame), it is ideally suited to the Internet, which links the world. And, as I’ve said before, Baseball is America in many ways, and America must become global. Baseball fans would do well to learn to appreciate the primary sport of most other nations, soccer. It is like learning the language, it breaks down barriers. The World Cup presents that opportunity.
Thanks to Maddog and our bloggers around the world, we MLBloggers have a unique opportunity to lead the way here. Hope to see you over at Dave’s Maddog’s World Cup Reports! — Michael Norton
In case you haven’t read it, check out Matt’s beautiful piece on horse racing, nostalgia and touching greatness.
I am really excited about the World Cup, which is coming at a good time for me. Time to learn a new sport. Stopped by the mall on the way from work and picked up a book on soccer fundamentals and a video game, EA’s 2006 FIFA World Cup. Thought I would spend a little time and effort educating myself on the game.
Decided I would sneak a peak at MLBlogs, and, lo and behold, there is a feature on World Cup Soccer! Mad Dog is graciously hosting a site for us, Maddog’s World Cup Reports. And one of the featured bloggers was my good friend, Thomas over at ‘Stros Bro. Couldn’t resist popping in for a peep, considering he keeps needling me that if only I could only write as well as he, I would be as successful at this blogging thing. I admit, I did find an absolute pearl: “Due to my lack of ignorance.. “. I’ve spent a quarter of a century studying Latin, Greek, Shakespeare–you name it–to become a proficient writer, but I could never come up with a gem like that. I’m envious.
Does it strike anybody else as odd he is opining about a subject which he confesses he has absolutely no knowledge of or interest in? And he makes the feature section of MLBlogs!?
Bring in the clowns.